Princess Leia Now a Disney Princess
Though technically not a princess, I have always thought that Mulan was the most fierce of all the Disney Princesses. Though many of the Disney ladies teach young girls to be brave and stand up for what they believe in, Mulan basically saves China. It doesn’t get much more bad ass than that.
Unless, of course, you save a galaxy.
I’m sad to say that this week, Princess Leia has dethroned Mulan as the most fierce Disney Princess of them all. Sorry, Merida, a bow and arrow just doesn’t hold up to a blaster. Yesterday, it was announced that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for a shit ton of moneys and that we’ll be seeing more Star Wars movies with Episode VII dropping sometime in 2015.
On the whole, I find this utterly revolting. But before I go off on my usual, completely biased and unfair rantings, let us dabble for a moment on the light side of the Force.
The Light Side
If Episode I wasn’t enough, Episodes II and III should have well convinced you that George Lucas cannot tell a story. Yeah, he’s a brilliant idea man. But those ideas need to be tempered and forged into coherent stories. That only works when you have collaborators who are willing to reign you in and tell you “no” once in a while. He had that on Episodes IV, V, and VI. Not so much with the prequels.
Episode VII will be written and directed by someone else. And if there’s one thing Disney has always excelled at, it’s telling stories. Episode VII will be amazing. George will probably have some hand in the development, but his ideas will be tempered with story telling, a successful mix that made the first three films so great. And I’m not just saying that because the prequels set the bar so low. I truly believe that we will get a better film now that George has been somewhat marginalized.
There. Great. We get a good fucking story. Whoop de fuck me do. This news still makes me sick to my stomach.
The DARK SIDE
Once upon a time in a fandom history far far away, there stood two independent entities that against all odds, grew to define their industries. Marvel and Lucasfilm. Without the backing of major entertainment conglomerates, both Marvel and Lucasfilm have created characters and universes recognized worldwide by absolutely everyone.
And they’ve both sold out to Disney.
Independence lets you do crazy shit like film Red Tails. Independence lets you give sanction to fans who create their own works based on your property and expand your universe. Independence lets you create imprints like Marvel Knights to speak to a mature audience. Independence gives you the freedom to concentrate on characters and stories rather than the bottom line.
What does Disney get you? A fucking Guardians of the Galaxy movie? You know who wants to see a CG racoon from a cancelled series that only lasted 25 issues? No fucking one. But it’s got a racoon so the kids will fucking love it so make a movie.
It’s probably the whiny artist in me, but I genuinely worry about such huge entertainment entities being united under one banner. News media consolidation has just made things awful and I’d hate to see that happen to nerdy things that I love. Despite the fact that I revile the prequels, it always impressed me that George did things his own damn way with his own damn money. And although Red Tails wasn’t the best movie in the world, I applauded him for doing it. No one else was willing to film it. No one else was willing to distribute it. And now that Lucasfilm is part of Disney, I doubt we’ll ever see anything like that again.
Independence gives you the freedom to fail, to try things that no one else will bother with. That’s all gone now. We’ve already seen Marvel leaning on the year-long event after year-long event. Sure, it boosts sales. But it’s retreading old ground over and over and over and over again. The House of Ideas is down to the House of Idea. A new Star Wars movie is nice. But with Red Tails, I was really hoping that Lucasfilm was expanding their portfolio. I wanted to see what other crazy ass movies George was going to tackle.
To me, the buyout signals an end of an era. Lucasfilm was so much more than a Star Wars factory. Now I fear that’s all we’ll be getting. Long live Star Wars.